Golf players needed to help Fort Mill special needs students

Special to the Fort Mill TimesApril 15, 2014 

— Technology required for special needs students in Fort Mill exceeds the school district’s budget, so educators and parents are coming together to raise money through a golf outing.

Golfers are needed for the third annual Fort Mill Open Special Needs Charity Golf Tournament, set for 1 p.m. April 25 at Tega Cay Golf Club. Lunch is provided.

It is hosted by the school district’s Special Services Department, which serves 1,100 special education students, and the Adult Enrichment Centers of Fort Mill, which has the High Five Club – a day program for 24 young adults with developmental delays.

Samantha Kriegshauser, director of the Adult Enrichment Center, has signed up the golfers in her family, including her husband, father and at least one of her sons. The reasons to support the tournament are numerous, she said.

“One, Tega Cay is a beautiful course. Two, it’s playing for a charity that is often overlooked and is very, very underfunded,” Kriegshauser said. “Technology gets outdated very quickly. There is always something new that comes out that can help these individuals.”

The programs are looking to buy tablets and other devices to help students who have difficulty communicating. Some of the technology needed costs a couple of hundred dollars, but other devices cost as much as $8,000, organizers say.

The idea to host a golf tournament came three years ago from Heather Britton, a speech language pathologist at the Fort Mill schools, and parent volunteer Cynthia Preusser. Both recognized that devices were needed for special needs students not only to access curriculum and learn, but to communicate overall, even basic needs.

“All the proceeds will enhance academic learning through the purchase of assistive technology and communication devices and program growth,” Britton said.

She and Kriegshauser are calling on golfers to help with this cause. The tournament still needs at least 50 golfers for it to be a success, Britton said. The entry fee is $360 for a team of four or $100 per individual.

To register, go to adultenrichmentcenters.org or call 803-396-5336.

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